What is Google Drive?

If you haven’t heard of Google Drive before it’s an office suite and cloud storage service in one. It comes with unlimited Google Docs file storage + 5GB of free cloud storage for other files to share with friends or workmates.

You can edit online, edit offline, do some of your work on your mobile or tablet. It doesn’t matter because with Google Drive’s sync and a robust revisions system all edits are saved, even when offline. Google will even automatically convert your uploads into a compatible Google Docs format for you, if you want, so you save even more space.

There’s hundreds of ways to use Google Drive: You could use it just to share family pictures and videos with relatives or collaborate with colleagues.

Maybe you just need a way to access your own documents from different locations or back-up your files. The answer is Google Drive.

What used to be Google Docs is now Google Drive

Google Docs was an online cloud office suite with the ability to open, edit and save all your common office documents collaboratively with the rest of your colleagues. It had support for word documents, spreadsheets, drawings and presentations – pretty much anything made in Microsoft Office will work with Google Drive.

All the things you would expect an office suite to allow you to do, such as write reports or create spreadsheets with compicated relationships and formulas, can be done in Google Drive so it fits right at home in any office enviroment. You can even search the text within PDF and image files.

Google Docs Formats

You can have Google convert your office documents into a compatible Google Docs format such as Excel (.XLS) files to Google Sheet and PowerPoint (.PPT) files to Google Slide format but you can also preview many files that don’t convert.

There are 5 standard formats: Doc, Sheet, Slide, Form and Drawing. If you open any of those document types you can leave comments attached to a specific word, sentence, paragraph or image to give your input context, another one of the marvelous collaboration features available.
Make use of Google Drive for Cloud Storage and File Sharing

You can share any of the files contained in your Google Drive with just a few clicks and you can control access on a folder or file-per-file basis. When you create a file you are marked as the ‘Owner’ and can restrict access by using the following 3 privacy options.

  • Public – anyone can access the file, no sign-in required.
  • Link only – Only users with a direct link can access the file, no sign-in needed.
  • Private – Only people who have been explicitly granted access by you can get to this file.

You can also collaborate on files if you have edit rights to it or grant edit rights to others for one of the files you own.
Sharing Files With People

Sharing files with people you know is as easy as sharing a link. You can do it either through copy/paste, email or social networking like Facebook, Twitter or Google+. If you want a bit more control over your files you can use combinations of the access options above. Even if they don’t have a Google account a public or link only setting will still let them view the file.

You can send emails to everyone when you make the file available to them if you want or you can later email all of the collaborators of a file at once.

Do you ever use a word processor or spreadsheets for work or homework? Do you often send files to workmates or friends through email or file sharing sites?

Then your the kind of person who would benefit from the ablity to store all your files and documents in the cloud using Google Drive.






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